This interesting and unusual surname is of English and Scottish origin, and has two possible sources; the first if of Anglo-Saxon origin and is from a nickname given to a messenger. The name is derived from the Middle English (1200 -1500) "go(n)", to go, from the Old English pre 7th Century "gan", and the Middle English "lihtly", lightly, swiftly, from the Old English "leohy(lic)". The second source is Scottish, and is an altered form of a surname of uncertain origin, possibly locational from a now "lost" place. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since circa 1100, due to such natural disasters as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eight of the population perished, or to the widespread practice of "clearing" large areas of land to make sheep pastures during the height of the wool-trade in the 14th and 15th Centuries. Among the sample recordings in London is the marriage of James Golightly and Barbara King on June 20th 1719 at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rannulf Golicthli, which was dated 1196, in the "Pipe Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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